SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership) Awards is an environmental advocacy organization honoring leadership with awards for business sustainability and environmental journalism. The award follows two other first-ever accolades for the company’s solar tracker from the ICMQ Institute and the Brazil Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy both of which recognized the product’s manufacturing sustainability credentials and supply chain.
Valmont Solar secured the very first New Circularity (NCI) Certificate from the ICMQ Institute, a certification body for the construction industry accredited by the national agency Acreddia, which guarantees impartiality, independence and honesty. The certification specifically addresses sustainability in the manufacturing of the single-axis photovoltaic tracker, which optimizes clean energy generation for solar installations. This recognition validates the product’s benefits to GHG avoidance for project installations and follows Valmont Solar’s recent honor as the first tracker manufacturer certified by the Brazil Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy, a private, non-for-profit, trade association.
“The SEAL, NCI and the AB Solar certifications recognize our commitments to expand our product’s positive impact as one of the top trackers on the market, showcasing the added value of our sustainable manufacturing accomplishments,” said Greg Turi, president, solar for Valmont Industries. “We believe that technical innovation in both products and processes are critical to transitioning the world to lower carbon-emitting energy sources and ensuring that they are affordable, reliable and increasingly available across the globe.”
Similar to the AB Solar assessment, the NCI certification evaluates production processes in four areas: materials, energy, water and waste via a life-cycle approach to determine a circularity percentage for the manufactured product. The single axis tracker itself allows optimal PV panel angles to the sun, creating higher energy generation (irradiance), for the majority of daily sunlight hours and maximizing total generation output for land used.
In addition to sustainability benefits through manufacturing, production efficiencies from Convert Technology have created stronger ROI for project owners who utilize the upgraded trackers rather than fixed-tilt systems on each installation, helping the industry compete against conventional energy sources and further expand solar project deployment.
The highly customizable tracker adjusts particularly well to uneven land surfaces and soil, minimizing expensive grading further adding to a cost-effective solution. The shorter rows also allow an increase layout density to meet the size and shape of the area adding greater versatility for site selection and increasing the potential total number of solar panels in the site footprint.
The nominal average power generation for a 1 MW solar project using the single-axis tracking solar racks is 1,834 MWh/year, an up to 25% performance increase compared to a same-sized project using fixed-in-place solar racks. That amount of electricity from an analysis based on a European grid mix would generate 878 tons of CO2e. After two months, all carbon emissions in the life cycle of the solar racks alone will be offset.